Many married couples in Denver eventually end up filing for divorce. Most divorces are contested which means spouses cannot agree on issues like property division and child custody. It is important to understand the proper steps to take when starting the process.

Most people begin with a consultation with a family law attorney. An attorney will prepare the paperwork and file it with the court. It is still important for parties to gather all the necessary paperwork to assist their attorney with completing the paperwork. The next step is the service of process on the opposing party. After receiving the paperwork, the respondent must file an answer within the time specified in the summons that was served along with the complaint for divorce.

After an answer has been filed, the next step in the process is called discovery. This is an opportunity for each side to gather information about evidence they expect to be introduced at trial. Discovery may in the form of written questions called interrogatories or out-of-court witness interviews or depositions.

When discovery has been completed, it is time to discuss settlement. Many divorce litigants choose settlement rather than proceeding to trial because it is usually less costly and provides more certainty. If an agreement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to a trial before a judge. Litigants who are unhappy with the results of a trial may wish to file an appeal.

A family law attorney may be able to help clients who want to file for divorce. The procedural rules can seem complicated for many people, and the failure to follow them can result in a loss of time, frustration and even the decree being challenged. An attorney can help clients by advocating for their interests, filing paperwork, and negotiating a settlement agreement.